Saturday, June 20, 2009

More corpse brides in China

Teenage girl dug up to be 'corpse bride'

As readers may know, this blog was started about a year ago in response to a chance I had to appear on a national television show called "Manswers." For some time, I'd been toying with the idea of resurrecting my writing career, a career that I had sort of placed on the backburner in response to graduate studies and the achievement of other priorities.

The topic I was to speak on was the sale of dead bodies. As my Master's thesis had to do with paleontology and I have an unfinished novel started that involves in part a false accusation of grave robbing, not to mention a widespread, eclectic knowledge of oddball things, this was a topic that I knew a surprising amount about.

Therefore, I decided to put a great deal of content on the blog that would interest viewers of this show and people who might wish to know more about the subject that I spoke on. Alas, as I was later to discover, few Manswers viewers actually read books so the effort was probably moot. Still, there's a lot there and I hope someone somewhere enjoys it. There's a lot of weirdness on these pages.

Still, there's weirdness and there's supreme, high weirdness. When I stumbled across the concept of Chinese corpse brides my mind was boggled and I did not readily believe it. I did, however, verify that the claim was real on the H-Asia e-mail list, a resource for Asian history scholars, and through personal communication with folks in Macao at the university there.

Still, reports on this sort of thing creep me out.
Five people have been arrested in China for digging up the corpse of a young woman to be a "ghost bride" for a man killed in a car crash.

Published: 1:26PM BST 15 Jun 2009

The suspects included a grieving father who allegedly paid his four accomplices around £2,700 pounds to find a female to be his son's companion in the afterlife.

The men were caught after unearthing the remains of a teenage girl who had poisoned herself after failing her university entrance exams last year, a newspaper in Xianyang in China's Shaanxi province reported.

In rural China, superstitious villagers have for centuries sought out the bodies of recently deceased woman to be ghost brides for young men who die single.

Marriage ceremonies are conducted for the two corpses, and the bride is placed in the same grave as her husband.

Under Chairman Mao's rule, officials made strenuous efforts to stamp out the ghoulish practice but it has since resurfaced in some rural areas.

Last year, a gang in southern China was arrested for strangling young women to sell as ghost brides when the supply of female corpses in their area ran short.

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